How to Repair “Problem sending the command to the program” Issue in Windows PC

  • Windows is full of surprises when error messages like this appear unexpectedly. “There was a problem with sending command to program” usually means that the window failed to connect to MS Office applications (such as Excel, Word or Access database) when sending DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) commands.
  • Sometimes this error can resolve itself, since the error message appears only once and applications are launched on the second or third attempts.

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It may be displayed when you try to open a Microsoft Office program such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint when there was a problem sending the command to the program. If you encounter this error, you will not be able to open the document. However, you can fix it by reading this MiniTool article.

There was a problem sending the command to the Excel 2013 program, which is one of the most common causes of Excel 2013 errors.

Whenever an error message like this appears unexpectedly in Windows, it is a source of surprise. When sending DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) commands to Microsoft Office applications (such as Excel, Word, or Access database), the window fails to connect to those applications. Therefore, MS Office applications will not be accessible.

In some cases, the error message will disappear by itself, when applications are launched after the error occurs once, but it is still important to deal with it manually since it can appear again at any time.

What is the reason for the “problem with sending a command to the program” error?

  • An error occurred on the hard drive
  • Excel applications with defects or damage
  • A problem with Microsoft Office
  • Add-ons/applications from third parties may cause this problem
  • A corrupted add-on, as well as too many add-ons, can negatively impact the program

How to resolve the ‘Problem sending command to program’ error message?

Updated: December 2023

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Excel ignores DDE messages sent by other programs, so if you double-click a workbook in Windows Explorer, the workbook will not be opened by Excel.

Disable add-ons

  1. Click on the File menu, select Options, and then click on Add-ons in the Office program causing the error.
  2. Go to Manage, select COM-Add-Ins, then click Go.
  3. Add-ins can be removed by clicking the Remove button.
  4. The Office program should be restarted if the problem persists. Repeat step 3 and select another add-in.
  5. Make sure you remove each add-on one at a time.

Disable hardware acceleration

  1. The File tab should be clicked then Options should be clicked.
  2. You can now disable hardware acceleration by clicking Advanced, selecting Disable hardware acceleration, and clicking OK.

Warning: After disabling hardware acceleration, performance may decrease slightly, but the error will no longer be displayed.

Disable dynamic data sharing

  1. You can resolve the error by clicking the Options button in the Microsoft Office application that caused the error.
  2. The Preferences menu can be accessed by clicking File > Preferences.
  3. If this option is already disabled, you must first enable it, restart Office, and then disable it. If this option is already enabled, you must first enable it, restart Office, and then disable it.
  4. Restart Office after you have saved the changes.

Disable the Run as administrator option

  1. You can find the name of the Office program causing the error by opening the Start menu.
  2. Select Open File Location > right-click Office in the new window, and then right-click Properties. If Properties isn’t available, select Open File Location > right-click Office in the new window.
  3. Uncheck Run this program as administrator under the Shortcut tab > Advanced.
  4. Changes should be applied.

Repair Office

  1. Click on the search box and enter Programs and Features.
  2. You can also modify the entire Office package by clicking the Office program that caused the error.
  3. Choosing Repair and clicking Continue will repair the problem.

RECOMMENATION: Click here for help with Windows errors.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Locate the EXCEL.EXE file.
  2. Right-click on the file and select Properties.
  3. Click the Compatibility tab.
  4. Uncheck the "Run this program in compatibility mode" box.
  5. Clear the "Run this program as administrator" checkbox.
  6. Click the Ok button.
  7. Check the status.

A DDE error has occurred and the error description cannot be displayed because it is too long. If the file name or path is too long, try renaming the file or copying it to another folder. This problem occurs when opening a file from a mapped drive, UNC path, or URL (web address).

Choose File -> Preferences. Select Advanced, scroll down to the General section, and then uncheck Ignore other applications with Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) under General.

Click on the big Office button and then select Excel Options if you have this problem with Excel.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.